Once upon a time, long, long ago, the design and development of an asynchronous e-learning course required a small army of skilled professionals. Project teams included the likes of a project manager, subject-matter expert, instructional designer, multimedia producer, author/developer, tester, and network manager.
Now, through the advent of user-friendly technologies, rapid-training design methodologies, and readily available stock websites for audio, graphics, and video, e-learning can be designed more quickly and with fewer people.
To reflect this change in e-learning design, the Langevin design team conducted a complete overhaul on one of our most popular workshops, Web-Based Training, and released a brand-new workshop called Instructional Design for e-Learning.
This new three-day workshop combines multiple training strategies for a truly blended learning solution. Most of the course content is delivered live in three virtual classroom sessions, with certain objectives covered through asynchronous e-learning modules or self-paced intersession assignments.
This combination of strategies allows us to adhere to critical best practices for virtual classroom training. With online sessions lasting no longer than three hours per day (depending on class size and group dynamics), learners are not subjected to cognitive and sensory overload. And the class limit of 15 participants ensures everyone has an opportunity to practice key skills, participate in discussions, and build rapport with other learners. One other perk—this virtual option offers participants the flexibility of attending from their home or business office, without the cost or hassle of travel.
So how did we manage to design a workshop about the design of asynchronous learning so it could be delivered synchronously in the virtual classroom?
First, we ensured the course content focused on the design of e-learning, not the development. With so many high-quality authoring tools available in the industry today, it would be impossible to speak to the unique tools and features of each application used by our clients. Instead, we provide learners with the key skills and knowledge required to plan and design an e-learning module before they bring it to life in their preferred authoring tool. Application exercises require the learners to make critical design decisions or critique scenarios in which design decisions have already been made—both of which represent core tasks associated with the design of asynchronous e-learning, regardless of which authoring tool is used.
Secondly, we ensured the most critical tasks are taught live, in the virtual classroom sessions where learners have access to both a facilitator and producer to monitor performance and answer questions. The lower-priority tasks are covered independently by the learners, as part of their intersession work, with opportunities for questions and review in the following online session.
And lastly, we provided learners with practical job aids and tools, such as a participant manual filled with design tips, guidelines, and samples, as well as infographics and templates, that are designed to be used both during the course and back on the job.
Since e-learning designers are no longer supported by an old-school army of skilled professionals, everything about Instructional Design for e-Learning is designed to help the solo designer hit the ground running as soon as they log out of the virtual classroom.
Are you ready to learn how to select presentation and application methods, along with suitable media, that will engage your learners and increase retention? Make sure you check out this new workshop!